By Crystal Burns
It was a banner month for the Greater Gibson County Area Chamber of Commerce’s Chamber Cash program.
In December 2020, the chamber sold $10,045 in Chamber Cash, benefitting participating member businesses across the county. The 2019 total during the same time frame was $6,400.
“That’s $10,000 from this chamber alone,” said Libby Wickersham, chamber executive director.
The Gibson County, Milan, and Humboldt chambers combined to sell about $25,000 worth of Chamber Cash or Chamber Bucks during the holiday season.
“That’s [sales tax] money that could’ve easily gone outside of the county,” Wickersham said.
The bulk of the Greater Gibson County Chamber’s sales came from businesses purchasing Chamber Cash as Christmas bonuses or gifts for their employees.
“We appreciate the businesses that purchased Chamber Cash for their employees and the citizens that purchased it for gifts,” she said. “We always promote shopping local to help our small businesses, but in 2020, that was especially important.”
Gibson County Sheriff Paul Thomas also helped boost sales when he reached out to Wickersham about finding sponsors to purchase Chamber Cash for deputies to give to citizens “caught doing good” to brighten spirits. Wickersham worked with the Milan and Humboldt chambers to have the specially marked Chamber Cash accepted by their members so the money would benefit the entire county, and several businesses and individuals answered the sheriff’s call to spread cheer.
The chamber launched its Chamber Cash program in 2015. Denominations are available for purchase in $5 increments at the chamber office in Trenton. The expiration date is stamped on the certificate and is good up to two years from the date of purchase.
When a customer presents Chamber Cash to a member business, that business treats it as cash. They return the Chamber Cash to the chamber office to receive 100% of the face value.
“If you’re a chamber member and you aren’t accepting Chamber Cash, you’re missing out on a benefit of your membership,” Wickersham said. “If you aren’t a chamber member, you’re missing out on many benefits.”
For more information about becoming a member of the chamber or Chamber Cash, call 731-855-0973.